Fishermans Path Level Crossing claims another life in early morning tragedy
Merseyrail have confirmed that a person has been struck by a train near Freshfield Train Station on the Northern Line.
The person died this morning, Friday 1st March. Emergency services were called at 6:30am and British Transport Police said that the person was pronounced dead at the scene. At that stage, police cannot confirm if the deceased was a man or a woman with efforts to identify the person still ongoing. The death is not being treated as suspicious.
The incident caused several hours of delays and cancellations with replacement busses taking over until 10am. A spokesman said just after 6.30am: "Due to a person being struck by a train between Freshfield and Ainsdale stations, services on the Southport and Hunts Cross lines are expected to meet with delay and cancellation."
All services were resumed by 10:00am. Police, Fire Officers and ambulances were present.
The train stopped at Fishermans Path crossing
The notorious level crossing was re-designed to make it safer and re-opened on 1st November 2017. Network Rail announced a 21 day emergency closure of the level crossing in July 2017, after a cyclist was nearly struck by a train, and then extended it for a further 21 days.
The crossing, which is described as ‘one of the most dangerous in the UK’ was reopened after more than 1,000 people signed a petition arguing against its sudden closure – and was then manned by rail safety wardens for the full hours that trains operated on the stretch.
There have been four fatal accidents at the crossing in the last three years. Priti Patel, head of safety for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “The safety of crossing users and train passengers is our top priority. We are keen to improve safety at this location both in the short term by making changes to the crossing itself and in the long term by providing an alternative option across the railway. We will continue discussions with the local council to try and find a permanent solution at Fishermans Path Level Crossing.”
Network Rail is committed to improving safety at level crossings. A spokesman said: "If Britain was building the railway now, there wouldn’t be any level crossings. The safest level crossing is a closed one and in the last seven years we have closed more than 1,000. Nationally, there are still 6,000 level crossings open and we work with a range of stakeholders, including local authorities and landowners, to maintain and improve safety levels wherever possible."
The gate before the changes